Personal Health

500,000 Germans suffer from a deadly disease – no one knows it

You know what Albert Einstein died? A ruptured abdominal artery. The so-called abdominal aortic aneurysm is not to say difficult, it is also hardly known. Approximately five percent of all men over the age of 65 and two per cent of all women suffer from it.

The devastating effect of the potentially deadly abdominal aortic aneurysm: In nine out of ten cases, it causes no discomfort. So most do not even know they are affected. In England the disease is, therefore, officially “the silent killer”, so “the silent killer,” explains Herribert Lösel-Sadée, chief physician for vascular surgery at the Sana hospital in Gerresheim.

He believed that 500,000 people Affected in Germany, around 100,000 in a requiring treatment abdominal suffering aortic aneurysm. The main artery is swollen in the belly of a diameter of more than five centimeters and threatens to burst. An Operation is urgently needed. However, only 15 percent of all patients are treated early enough.

Check with the family doctor

With ultrasound, Doctors can detect an enlarged abdominal aorta. Since 1. January 2018 statutory sick men insured from 65 years to claim on a ultrasound screening for the early detection of abdominal aortic aneurysms. The health insurance covers the cost.

The new regulation could not prevent Doctors discover the disease only by accident, for example if you treat a patient, because of gallstones. Although the disease is more common in men than in women, recommends Lösel-Sadée all people over 65 to have a regular ultrasound of the abdomen.

Taken aback, Physicians should be generally in patients who suffer from Obesity and Diabetes, regular Smoking, and, most recently, back pain complaints, the radiate to the abdominal cavity.

Such a Patient meets the risk profile for an abdominal aortic aneurysm and describes the pain that can arise if the enlarged Aorta presses on the belly fur.

Risk factors for an abdominal aortic aneurysm are

  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure

All of these factors damage the blood vessels. Increasing deposits narrow the vessels, the walls dilate, become thinner and more unstable. You break it comes to life-threatening internal bleeding.

Possibly the disease is caused genetically, says Lösel-Sadée. That many more men are affected than women, he explains, with the tend to be unhealthy life style of men.

Minor surgery with artificial blood vessel

The doctor will detect when an ultrasound is an enlarged abdominal aorta, it can get in the next step with a computed tomography, an accurate picture of the modified Form.

In traditional surgery, the surgeon opens the abdominal cavity and replaced in the abdominal aorta with a plastic prosthesis. For this purpose, he cuts off the vessels above and below the dilated body, opens the aneurysm and sews in the prosthesis.

A treatment is nowadays also possible, without opening the entire abdominal cavity. By using the so-called endovascular stent Graft, only a small wound remains after the procedure, explains Lösel-Sadée. It is a combination of a stabilizing wire mesh and a blood vessel made of plastic. Patients two to seven days after surgery to be fit again.

In a study documented Lösel-Sadée, the development of 144 patients after stent Graft surgery. The study was published in 2015 in the magazine “The Italian Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery” and confirmed the Use of this surgical method. During the follow-up period of five years, there was no rupture of the aortic aneurysm. There is no second surgery was necessary.

Editors ‘ note: The post was at 18. September 2018 revised and now contains the note that the ultrasound screening for the early detection of Bauchaoertenaneurysmen is now being paid to men over 65 years by health insurance.